Labour’s further slide is worth cheering, but it’s galling to learn we should brace for more Greenie MPs

It’s the best they can afford…Labour Party headquarters in Eketahuna North.

Things were awfully silent at Labour Party headquarters in Eketahuna North, when Alf strolled by last night.

Fair to say, they have little to get excited about these days, although maybe an animated argument about Phil Goff’s leadership was in order.

But the silence last night suggested local electorate membership had been reduced to about one sad-sack, and this one sad-sack was unable to sustain a conversation with his or her self.

Then again, maybe someone had tipped them off about the latest polling news carried at Stuff –

National is looking unstoppable on its way to a historic outright election win as Labour plunges in a Fairfax Media-Research International Poll.

The poll has National on 52.5 per cent, and Labour sliding to 25.9 per cent, 17 days from the election.

Labour would lose 10 seats if those results were repeated on election night, while National would get nine extra seats, and bring in a slew of new faces.

The Green Party has profited most from Labour’s slump, rising to 12.6 per cent in today’s poll – which would give it seven more seats in Parliament and nine new faces because of retirements.

As Stuff points out, we Nats have barely slipped below 50 per cent in any public poll since taking power in 2008 except for a period in mid-2010 when we announced a rise in GST.

We dropped to 49 per cent in two consecutive polls.

It’s worth nothing that no minor party other than the Greens is polling above single figures.

And so, Stuff reports,

… it would take a dramatic turnaround in Labour’s fortunes in the final two weeks of the campaign, or an even bigger boost to the Green Party, for National to slip below 50 per cent.

Stuff also gives us a bit of recent history, reminding us that no single party has won an outright majority under MMP, and the last time any party won more than 50 per cent of the vote was in 1951.

Alf was old enough and sufficiently politically savvy in those days to rejoice with his dad at the triumph of good old no-nonsense politicking over the pinkos running the trade unions.

Oh, and the political writers are saying Labour’s biggest risk now is that its prospects look so dismal, its supporters will decide to vote strategically for the Greens, or not vote at all.

If that happened it could be a rout equal to the one in 2002 that reduced National to just 27 MPs.

Alf didn’t much relish the results of that rout.

He doesn’t altogether looking forward to the results of this one. More Nats – that’s great. But the prospect of a greater gaggle of muesli-munching Greenies is downright unnerving.

He does fancy his chances of promotion by being named our next Minister of something important and challenging, like Rugby, Racing or Beer.

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